How to Set Up IT Infrastructure for a Small Business

Equal Optics

An efficient IT infrastructure improves operations for many small business owners. Whether you’re preparing to launch your business for the first time or reviewing your business plan, learn how to set up your IT infrastructure for your small business to improve communication and productivity. See how network professionals at Equal Optics can assist you every step of the way.

1. Determine Your IT Requirements

Just like no two small business plans are exactly the same, your IT infrastructure needs to be tailored to your specific business size and goals. Taking some time to assess your needs before making any purchases can make a significant difference in the efficiency of the process.

Planning Your Network

Your small business deserves a fast, secure, and efficient IT infrastructure. However, that doesn’t mean you need to invest in the largest possible system. Spend some time thoroughly assessing the actual requirements of your small business to see what size of infrastructure you need. Here are some areas to consider as you estimate your needs:

  • Storage
  • Networking speed
  • Security
  • Number of users

Keep your growth projections in mind as you make these calculations. Investing in the system your future business needs, not your current one, can help you avoid any unnecessary growth costs as you scale up your small business.

Evaluating Your Facility

Review the physical space available as you learn how to set up IT infrastructure for your small business. This allows you to identify and overcome any hurdles before you begin ordering components. Here are some factors to consider as you plan a new infrastructure or an update to your existing network:

  • Room available for routers, switches, and access points
  • Length of cabling requirements
  • Humidity and temperature of the facility
  • Possible sources of interference, including wireless devices, HVAC systems, and electrical equipment

2. Compare Traditional vs. Cloud Infrastructure

As you explore how to set up an IT infrastructure for your small business, it’s important to consider whether you want a traditional, on-premises infrastructure or a cloud-based approach. While cloud-based models provide automated management and can streamline the process of scaling your business, they also require subscription-based payments. Only 44% of small businesses use cloud-based solutions for hosting services or IT infrastructure.

Benefits of a Traditional IT Infrastructure

A traditional infrastructure puts servers, networking equipment, and other IT components in your facility. This may require additional space, electrical requirements, and physical security measures but it provides the following benefits:

  • Security: Protecting the servers at your physical location can often be easier than ensuring data is secure at another location.
  • Data privacy: Store your sensitive data on site to enjoy greater levels of control and compliance.
  • Infrastructure control: When you own your IT infrastructure, you can move away from a subscription-based model and take charge of the updates, maintenance, and functionality of your infrastructure.

3. Select the Optimal Hardware

Explore components from leading vendors to enjoy a stable, long-term IT infrastructure. There are many vendors to choose from, so consider working with a team of IT experts for small business solutions. Here are a few of the components you’ll need to select to create your traditional IT infrastructure.

  • Optical transceivers
  • AOC, DAC, copper patch, and fiber patch cables
  • Memory
  • Servers
  • Power cables
  • Storage solutions
  • Devices

4. Install Your IT Infrastructure

If you aren’t sure how to set up an IT infrastructure for your small business, it’s crucial to work with a team of experts at this stage. The installation phase includes both physical setup and network configuration. Work with Equal Optics to streamline this process and avoid any damage to your equipment or significant downtime.

Setting up Your Hardware

Routers, access points, switches, and cables need to be installed correctly in a well-ventilated space. IT equipment is fragile and can be damaged if improperly installed. Even dust can affect the cable and transceiver connections.

Configuring Your Network

Once the hardware is installed, your network needs to be configured. Here are some of the settings that you’ll need to configure:

  • IP addresses
  • Gateway addresses
  • Subnet masks

Consider setting up virtual local area networks and implementing dynamic host configuration protocol for further security and improved performance. Setting up wireless network access points also requires careful consideration and optimization to avoid security risks that could cost your small business a significant amount of time and money.

5. Perform Relevant Tests

Ensure your IT infrastructure is ready for use and your team can successfully navigate the relevant areas of your network to streamline adoption. Below are a few user acceptance tests you can perform to reduce the inconvenience and cost of switching to a new IT infrastructure.

Security Testing

Test the network rigorously to avoid any cybersecurity threats. This involves identifying potential threats, checking for vulnerabilities, and making any adjustments required to keep your small business safe.

Functionality Testing

This test reviews the hardware and software that make up your infrastructure. The goal is to ensure connectivity, recovery procedures, backup processes, and data storage solutions are all fully functional.

6. Document Your Infrastructure

When you work with a team of IT professionals, you may not have been present for every step of the installation and setup process. Ask for documentation as the final step in how to set up an IT infrastructure for your small business. Here are some areas of documentation that can be helpful for your small business moving forward:

  • IP address assignments
  • Device configurations
  • Network diagrams

Ask about available training to bring your team up to speed with your new network. IT professionals can also provide routine and emergency maintenance, so consider whether you wish to maintain your own IT infrastructure or work with a dedicated team for this step.

Learn More About How to Set Up IT Infrastructure for Your Small Business

At Equal Optics, we’re confident our team can help you navigate the entire process of upgrading your small business network. You don’t have to invest your time and energy exploring each of these steps in detail to receive a safe, efficient, IT network. Request a quote today to see how to set up your IT infrastructure for your small business with the help of our experienced team.


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